SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the lives of struggling 'alabaru' at Lagos markets

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Mile 12 market, Lagos, a middle-aged woman sat on a large plastic bowl placed on a wooden board and gazed at the faces of passers-by, expectantly.

A porter, Iya Ibeji, as she wants to be identified, says what started as a temporary job to solve her immediate needs has now stretched into its 15th year.

“I could not leave it, because challenges keep rearing its head up. I wish to start a business because I am tired of carrying loads every day.” “May God not make me an irresponsible mother, that my children will be misbehaving, that was why I opted for this work,” said another porter, identified as Iya Fatima, who joined the others two months ago.“This work is not something to be done forever, I will do it for a while and stop. My hope is that my children are fine in future.”Most of the porters in Mile 12 market come from outside Lagos. As a result, they are forced to sleep in make-shift structures within the market.

She lives in a ‘Tanlese’ where she shares the space with seven other women inside the Mile 12 market. Each occupant pays N2,000 monthly.


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Local government authorities ensure this people pay for tickets daily.

'Alabaru' from the picture, how did you viewed it? Positive or Negative to us as a Country? These are Humans!

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